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Iran To Open More Businesses, Religious Sites Amid Loosening Of Virus Restrictions

Iranians wearing face masks attend prayers during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Tehran earlier this month.

Iran's president said authorities would allow more businesses, cultural sites, and religious shrines to open as part of the ongoing loosening of restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hassan Rohani said on state television on May 23 that historical sites and museums would also be allowed to open beginning May 24, which is the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

He said religious shrines, where many coronavirus cases had spread from early on in the crisis, will reopen the following day and worshippers will have to observe social distancing and similar rules to prevent spreading the virus further.

Rohani last week said that restaurants would reopen after Ramadan and sports activities would resume without spectators. Universities are set to reopen early next month.

Iran was hard hit early on as the coronavirus spread from China, where it first erupted late last year.

As of May 23, official figures showed that a total of 7,359 people had died in Iran from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. while 131,652 have been infected.

Based on reporting by AFP